Thursday, January 1, 2009

JFK provides direction to nation in new year

President John F. Kennedy provided great inspiration, entertainment and wisdom in his celebrated press conferences.

He expressed some eternal truths in his responses to reporter questions. And so as we enter 2009, we should look back to those answers for some necessary wisdom when it comes to realizing our own happiness while trying to survive a declining economy.

When asked if he was happy, JFK responded "yes," then provided the definition of happiness as expressed by the Greeks: "... the full use of one's talents along lines of excellence."

Yet in another press conference, JFK provided a surprising yet most true response in acknowledging that "life is unfair."

For his family, that had indeed been the truth, from his brother, Joe, killed in trying to deliver an experimental payload of explosives against the Germans by air in WWII, a sister killed soon after in a plane crash in Europe, another sister lobotomized by her father, an infant son who died right after childbirth and his own assassination.

There are more negatives the family faced, including the assassination of Bobby and the travails of Teddy. Yet he and then his marvelous family endured. And now his daughter Caroline is struggling to convince New Yorkers to allow her to follow his legacy and New Tork's senator.

And so his answers provide a choice for us in this new year. Happiness can be achieved amid life's unfairness, if we persevere and realize both are fleeting.

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